wildfire

Biscuit fireAs mountain pine beetles and other insects chew their way through Western forests, forest fires might not seem far behind. Lands covered by dead trees appear ready to burst into flame.
However, an analysis of wildfire extent in Oregon and Washington over the past 30 years shows very little difference in the likelihood of fires in forests with and without insect damage. Indeed , other factors – drought, storms, and fuel accumulation from years of fire suppression – may be more important than insects in determining if fire is more or less likely from year to year.

A wildfire early this afternoon was restricting travel on OR 242 (Old McKenzie Pass Hwy.) at MP 64, approximately 9 miles east of the junction with OR 126 (McKenzie Hwy.). Travelers were advised to avoid the route and be alert for fire fighting equipment and personnel in the area.

At 2 p.m. the Old McKenzie Pass Hwy. was closed at the junction of Hwy. 126. Travelers from the east side (Sisters) were allowed to travel only as far as the Dee Wright Observatory (MP 75.5).

The route reopened at 3:43 p.m.

 

McKenzie River Reflections

Burn inspectorsBy Finn J.D. John
Perhaps the most interesting part of the story of Oregon’s Tillamook Burn of 1933 is not what happened, but what didn’t happen.
Three decades before the Tillamook Burn, the wildfire known as the “Yacolt Burn” — really dozens of simultaneous fires all across Oregon and Washington — lit into the states with a savage ferocity and blinding speed. It engulfed whole towns, destroyed sawmills and chased frantic loggers out of doomed camps. And it chased down 35 people and burned them alive.

Collier glacierThe Northwest is facing increased risks from the decline of forest health, earlier snowmelt leading to low summer stream flows, and an array of issues facing the coastal region, according to a new climate assessment report.

National Weather Service forecasts wildfire smoke intrusions

Pole Creek Fire Update

Smoke from Pole Creek Fire

Photo by Lara Matthews, Western Images & Art

McKenzie River Reflections is the weekly newspaper serving Oregon's McKenzie River Valley. Available by mail for $23/yr in Lane County, $29/yr outside Lane. Digital subscriptions are $23/yr. Subscribe at: http://mckenzieriverreflectionsnewspaper.com/catalog/subscriptions-0. Purchase copies online at: http://mckenzieriverreflectionsnewspaper.com/catalog/back-issues-0. Read about area communities including Cedar Flat, Walterville, Camp Creek, Leaburg, Vida, Nimrod, Finn Rock, Blue River, Rainbow and McKenzie Bridge.